Congratulations on the magnificent photographs of the Moscow Olympics. I was especially thrilled with the pole-vault sequence in the Aug. 11 issue (How's This, Mrs. Mullory?). Wladyslaw Kozakiewicz' defiant gesture to the jeering Moscovites was pure drama. He was speaking not only for himself but also for the entire Polish nation, which has long suffered under Russian tyranny. Thanks for capturing this classic moment.
DENNIS D. KENDZORA
Thank you for the delightful cover picture of Sebastian Coe. I had a chance to watch the Moscow Olympics on BBC television while I was on vacation. Coe's jubilation was the only spontaneously happy emotion I saw expressed during the Games. To have it recreated on your cover just made my day.
My hat is off to Miruts Yifter for his great 5,000- and 10,000-meter victories, but I think it is somewhat misleading to say no one could have beaten him. I'm sure Henry Rono would have been a formidable opponent.
In Paris, just 10 days before the Moscow 10,000, our own Craig Virgin ran the distance in 27:29.2, clearly a superior time to Miruts Yifter's winning 27:42.7. Not only did Virgin break his own American record by more than 10 seconds, but he also became the only runner besides Henry Rono to break the 27:30 barrier.
August 24, 1980
My compliments to Paul Zimmerman on his Olympic weightlifting piece (He Huffed and He Puffed, but..., Aug. 11). He showed the human side of former champion Vasily Ivanovich Alekseyev, who is considered by most to be an overweight bad guy. I was disappointed, however, that the feat of the 182-pound champion went unmentioned. Yurik Vardanyan of the U.S.S.R. lifted a world-record two-lift total of 882 pounds, only 88 pounds less than the Olympic superheavyweight record set by Alekseyev and tied by new champion Sultan Rakhmanov. Vardanyan is some 140 pounds lighter than Rakhmanov and 175 pounds lighter than Alekseyev. Vardanyan's performance, which was certainly one of the greatest in weightlifting history, would have won him the gold in the next two higher weight classes.
MAKE WAY FOR HEARNS
How could you deprive Thomas Hearns of your Aug. 11 cover? Sebastian Coe won the 1,500 and stopped Ovett's streak, but his performance was lackluster considering his time of 3:38.4 and the media buildup the pair received. Furthermore, I thought you were only going to report on the Olympics, not give them the honor of two cover stories. What happened to supporting the boycott?
Hearns totally dominated a proven champion in welterweight Pepino Cuevas. In the months and years ahead, when Hearns disposes of two men you have highly publicized—Sugar Ray Leonard and Roberto Duran—and then takes the junior-middleweight, middleweight and light-heavyweight titles, you're going to regret the goof you made by withholding the celebrity he deserved.
THOMAS J. NASH
Ann Arbor, Mich.
It is comforting to know that there is at least one athlete who combines good looks, talent and total dedication to his sport in a classy and unpretentious manner (By George, He's Some Hitter, Aug. 11). Whether he goes 0 for 4 or 4 for 4, how can anyone not love Kansas City's George Brett? Thank you for a wonderful inside look at the hottest hitter in baseball.
It's great to see the enthusiasm of George Brett portrayed so well. Such a well-rounded player deserves the recognition that you've given him. It's his attitude toward the game that makes me want to stand up and root for his team.
It is a tribute to George Brett's athletic talent and to him personally that the recent renegotiation of his contract was overshadowed by his accomplishments on the field.
Many baseball fans here in New England empathize with the fans of the hapless San Diego Padres (A Team in Trouble, Aug. 11). In less than three seasons we have seen the financial skills and baseball acumen of owners Haywood Sullivan and Buddy LeRoux transform the Boston Red Sox from a pennant contender into a dreary team striving to reach mediocrity. While the Padres aspire to "be like the Baltimore Orioles," Sox fans wonder how many on the current Boston pitching staff could hold their own against the Taiwan Little League All-Stars.
For the Padres, William Nack suggests that an albatross would be a more appropriate choice of mascot than a chicken. For the current Bosox, how about a pair of turkeys?
GILBERT S. OSBORN
In your article about the troubled San Diego Padres, you suggest that Ray Kroc's son-in-law, Padre President Ballard Smith, brought to his job no more experience than that of a district attorney in the state of Pennsylvania.
I feel compelled to advise you that during his undergraduate years at Carleton College in Northfield, Minn., Smith was a star and, I believe, team captain in what was called the Marvin Rotblatt Softball League. I can think of no better preparation for the man who now oversees the Padres.
MICHAEL C. NEU
WHO'S ON THIRD?
In your Aug. 11 issue, Henry Hecht submits that the Mets have never been able to field a quality third baseman (Can't Anyone Play Third?). This may be true, but neither they nor any other team in baseball can match the San Diego Padres in this regard. For every Pumpsie Green the Mets can name, the Padres can counter with an Ed Spiezio. Or a Tucker Ashford. Or a Dave Hilton. At least New York once had Lenny Randle and Richie Hebner; the best that San Diego has had is an aging Doug Rader. Small wonder that Mike Ivie once refused to play the position for the Padres. He had a tough act to follow.
El Cajon, Calif.
We now know that Abbott and Costello must have foreseen the Mets' predicament when they put I Don't Know on third.
ROBERT J. LANNON
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